Friday, January 30, 2009

Economic Stimulus -- But Will Transportation Be Better For All of Us?

Thanks to the League of American Bicyclists for keeping us in the know!

Update on Economic Stimulus legislation, January 30, 2009

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The League of American Bicyclists and other members of the America Bikes Coalition have been working to ensure that economic recovery funds help communities create safe, healthy, and less-polluting transportation options for all Americans by providing explicit funding for bicycle, pedestrian and trail investments.

The House bill includes $30 billion for the highway transportation program. Forty-five percent of the funds are eligible to be distributed under the current Surface Transportation Program (STP) funding formulas. This means $1.35 billion would be available for transportation enhancements – and typically, 50%-60% of transportation enhancements funds have been invested in bicycle and pedestrian projects.

We anticipate that early next week, the Senate will start to vote on their version of the Economic Recovery Bill, which was released this week. The Senate version includes $27 billion in “Highway” funding which will be distributed to the States under the current STP formulas.

A summary of the bill can be found at

What can you do?

First, keep checking in with the America Bikes, League or other coalition group websites and e-mail lists for updates. The legislation is moving fast, and the opportunities to weigh in on specific votes, language etc. come and go quite quickly!

Second, by all means let your Senators know that you hope to see bike, pedestrian and trail projects funded as part of the recovery programs, even though the precise mechanism by which this will be done is unclear.

Contact US Senator Arlen Specter:

Contact US Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.:

Third, keep compiling those lists of shovel ready projects so that you can ensure your State DOT has a full menu of nonmotorized projects to choose from when the money starts flowing!

Andy Clarke
League of American Bicyclists
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